We are so proud to be part of the San Juan Capistrano community. We are surrounded by amazing customers, visitors, and of course, other businesses. All of these businesses have been so welcoming to the NewStart community that we have built. That is why we want to shine a spotlight on the best businesses in the area. We want to take a look at one of our favorites, Rancho Capistrano Winery. Locals know Rancho Capistrano Winery as a great place to visit for wine, food, and a night out but few know that it taps into the history of the area. In fact, it taps into the history of wine in California.
There are many places to get wine in California but only one place where it all began and Rancho Capistrano Winery taps into that history.
California Wine Country
Quick, what California city comes to mind when you think about wine? Napa, napa is one of the most popular wine destinations in the world. But Napa wasn’t always the go-to spot in California for wine. In fact, the winemaking capital of California was San Juan Capistrano. Father Junipero Serra brought European grapes with him to cultivate at the mission in San Juan Capistrano in the 1780s.
The wine Father Junipero made was used for communion as well as a product to barter. They stopped making wine in the 1840s when the padres lost the mission. Vines were replanted in the early 1990s and it was seen as replanting the roots of history in the city. That wine brought visitors through the area and helped make San Juan Capistrano what it is today.
Rancho Capistrano Winery
There are now two Rancho Capistrano Winery locations. However, the first was the one in San Juan Capistrano. The first location was opened in 2014 and was the largest winery in Orange County. In fact, Rancho Capistrano Winery is still the largest winery in all of Orange County.
They have won many different awards over the years including best restaurant, best dinner, best lunch, best healthy options, and best ambiance. Chef Adrian De La Torre has cultivated amazing menus for the winery with things like Ortega Roast Beef or Zucchini Cannelloni. But the tie to history is the wine. The grapevines continue to grow and we continue to enjoy the bounty.
Rancho Capistrano Winery is still the largest winery in Orange County, California. There are over 40 different wines. However, you won’t be getting those gourmet-style small bites at the restaurant. Instead, you will get generous portions and amazing pairings. The ambiance is set with a 3,000 Sq Ft patio, a fireplace, and rustic teak tables that make the entire place feel even more luxurious. You can even join a wine club. Membership includes many perks. You could get 50% off food and drinks, no table reservation fees, and 30% off wine of the month bottles to-go. This is only one of the many ways this winery earns its awards and popularity.
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